Achievement is like the cherry on top, the sugar that makes the medicine go down, the one secret herb or spice … okay, enough metaphors. Achievement helps to reinforce good habits, set new neural pathways for progress, contributes to motivation for continued efforts for increased and improved productivity.

Many studies, especially those listed by Turkay in the 2014 Harvard manuscript Setting Goals: Who, Why, How?, that look at achievement have supported the notion that goal setting (clarity) paired with action and accountability increase achievement motivation.

“The value of achievement lies in the achieving.” said Albert Einstein. So achievement requires the other elements in the model: you need to take action and have accountability; you need clarity of the goals you’re chasing and the plans you’re following; a coach or mentor to challenge, guide and support you; an increasing level of self-confidence to continue achieving.

Stop and think about the last time you achieved something. Reconnect with how good that felt. Let the memory of that achievement flood back in for a moment or two.

It’s no secret how much I hate mathematics and formulas. We have an ongoing love-hate relationship. To complete my MBA I had one final subject to get through. I had deferred it once already. But it was now or not graduate. I had put it off and put it off. Accounting! And in my head accounting is just another maths subject.

I worked myself into a ridiculous level of stress about this subject that I studied, on average, 5 to 6 hours every day. It was a struggle and all I was aiming for was a pass so I could graduate. Nothing like aiming for average, right!

Assignments were submitted and I did slightly above average – phew! Not really a sense of achievement but rather relief.

But the big day finally came, the exam! I didn’t sleep well the night before, I had all manner of mind games going on. I will admit that I even searched for an excuse to just walk away. But for a wonderful husband who reminded me of the journey thus far, the investment thus far, how could I not go for it. (Remember the email where I talked about accountability? – insert accountability here).

I sat the exam and was once again relieved that I answered everything, Not sure I got anything right but could put pen to paper for every question.

When the results came in I was beside myself. Never in my life would I have expected to get an A … an A! Now that’s achievement!

I bet you have an ‘A’ story in your life too, I’d love to hear it.

Reconnect with that feeling of accomplishment, pride and boost to confidence. Use that energy to continue your journey of productive leadership.


✓ reinforces good habits

✓ confirms your knowledge and skills

✓ gives you credibility

✓ bonds the team to continue doing good work

We are living in such a fast paced world that we don’t stop and soak in the achievement. If you lead a team, remember to stop and celebrate the successes. If you are a soloprenuer, your network, coach or mentor should be hearing about your wins so that they can cheer you on.

I’d love to know your thoughts…